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Digital Addictions: A Look into Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD)

“Online gambling” and “online gaming” mean two distinctly different things yet sometimes they mean the same thing, like alcohol and methamphetamine abuse are different and conversion to a single substance abuse recovery lifestyle is the solution for both types of addiction.

Gambling is associated with risking something of value in hopes of a specific outcome of an event or contest.

Gaming also at times means gambling, or something very different.

Internet Gaming Disorder

Nevertheless, Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) appears to be as physically and psychologically addicting as internet gambling disorder. This becomes especially true when one considers the zeal and perseverance associated with often younger IGD people as compared with older gamblers.

IGD is not just frequent video game playing.

IGD is clinically significant impairment in psychosocial functioning.

How Do Addictions Experts Determine Who Suffers from IGD?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition (DSM-5) has determined that IGD may be present when 5 or more of the following occur within a 12-month period:

  1. Obsessed with games to the point that the person is daydreaming about previous gaming or planning the next gaming fling; daily living revolves around gaming;
  2. Impatience, intolerance, irritability, anger, anxiety or unhappiness occur when gaming is stopped or taken away, similar if not identical to drug withdrawal syndrome
  3. Neuronal down-regulation or tolerance manifested by the compulsion to spend more and more  time engaged in games;
  4. Several attempts to stop or reduce gaming thoughts and actions;
  5. Decreased interest in pleasurable activities with the exception of games;
  6. Minimization, rationalization or denial of psychosocial consequences secondary to gaming;
  7. Not being forthright to family, counselors, or others regarding the magnitude of gaming;
  8. Gaming is used as a “drug” to escape reality or reduce ill feelings such as boredom, attention deficit, dependence, oppression, guilt, anxiety, rejection, low-self-esteem and unhappiness.
  9. The gamer has knowingly or unknowingly suffered psychosocial losses, setbacks or erosion of relationships, academic performance, employment or educational or career opportunity.

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